Miracle at St Anna Christmas, 1983. A New York postal clerk, a Buffalo Soldier in Italy in World War II, shoots a stranger. In his apartment, police find a valuable Italian marble head, missing since the war. Flashbacks tell the story of four Black soldiers who cross Tuscany’s Serchio River, dodging German and friendly fire. With a shell-shocked boy in tow, they reach the village of Colognora. Orders via radio tell them to capture a German soldier for questioning about a counteroffensive. In the village, a beautiful woman, partisans that include a traitor and a local legend, the boy, and the story of a recent massacre connect to the postal worker’s anguish forty years later. And the miracle?
Miracle at St Anna Length is a factor for this film, and it’s not the normal action driven war film. I was lucky enough to attend the premier in NY and from the perspective of a Cadet at West Point, I would say that I respected this film BECAUSE it “jumped around.” It showed all perspectives and that there were people with good intentions on all sides. The bad intentions were included as well, and though it doesn’t grab you the entire time, it tells an interesting tale. Sadly, most people don’t go to see a war film for this reasons, they all want Saving Private Ryan these days. But that’s not what war is always about, and this film shows the other aspects. The black soldiers are each equally representative of varying perspectives that these men had. With a lot of duality also represented, this film leaves a lot to think about if you watch it with the right eye. It seems most people I’ve talked to have a problem with length and action, but if you don’t pay so much attention to that and just enjoy it, you’ll find a nice film that takes a different approach.